Home > Uncategorized > Reader questions: Digital Aggregator Deals–Is the New Boss Worse than the Old Boss?

Reader questions: Digital Aggregator Deals–Is the New Boss Worse than the Old Boss?

January 5, 2015

Ever wonder why CD Baby sells themselves on “no annual fee”?

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

We’ve had a number of questions lately about how artists should look at aggregator deals and how to evaluate them.  You would, of course, evaluate these deals the same way you would any other deal in the first instance–using break even analysis.  This requires a little bit–a very little bit–of high school algebra, but you can do it.

Why Do You Need an “Aggregator”?

Retailers like iTunes have a huge number of contracts that they administer–but they rarely will let you sign up directly as an individual artist.  Most of the time, they want you to sign up through an “aggregator”, a tech industry term that refers to a middleman who services the larger account (iTunes for example) with one deal that provides many independent artists.  This idea of a threshold volume requirement is not new and certainly existed in the music business for a very long time (hence the…

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